To say video is important to Facebook is the understatement of the century. If you haven’t noticed all the video in your News Feed you probably haven’t logged in in the last year.
A few weeks ago, Facebook announced a slew of video updates that prove the social network will not stop until they are the top destination for video. If you're not already using Facebook video for your business now is the time to start.
Flipping Video on its Side
Taking a cue from Snapchat, Facebook will play vertical videos in a larger format for viewers on mobile phones.
Given that mobile phones are used in portrait mode 98 percent of the time (Mobile Marketer), this is a switch you should make for your social videos to take advance of the phone’s full real-estate.
When creating vertical videos, we recommend keeping crucial content towards the middle section of the screen, as the very top and bottom sections of a traditional 9:16 vertical video will be cropped to fit to 2:3. Videos will display in full 9:16 when viewers tap a vertical video in News Feed to expand it to full screen.
Turning Up the Volume on Video
After we just started adding captions to all our videos, Facebook is now enabling sound-on auto play for videos.
According to the network’s data, watch time increases when videos play with sound, so Facebook is enabling sound-on auto play for videos in the coming months. Sound will fade in over 4 seconds when a viewer scrolls or pauses on a video. Viewers can silence individual clips directly or select an “always off” option. If the mobile device is set to silent, videos will not play with sound.
At this point, you don't need to change your social video production practices. Many people will continue to experience videos with sound off. However, we would recommend avoiding including crucial audio elements within the first 4 seconds of a video.
Watch and Scroll
Facebook will now allow you to minimize a video you're watching to a picture-in-picture view while you keep scrolling through your newsfeed (on iOS) or do other tasks on your phone (on Android). Many platforms like YouTube and Netflix already offer this feature, as it encourages people to keep watching for longer.
Unfortunately, this change, is going to make it even harder to earn people’s attention and for Android it will require strong audio to keep people listening while they are doing other tasks. We recommend focusing on thumb-stopping creative and great audio to keep the audience engaged.